Internal mammary sentinel lymph node biopsy with modified injection technique: A case report

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In addition to axillary lymph node (ALN), internal mammary lymph node (IMLN) is also the first-echelon drainage nodes reached by metastasising cancer cells from breast cancer, which can provide important prognostic information.

Patient concerns:

In this paper, we will introduce a case of breast cancer patient whose postoperative pathology result showed that she had internal mammary sentinel lymph node (IMSLN) metastases but no axillary sentinel lymph node (ASLN) metastases.


She was diagnosed as pT1cN1bM0 breast cancer based on the positive IMSLN but negative ASLN.


She received axillary-sentinel lymph node biopsy (A-SLNB) and internal mammary-sentinel lymph node biopsy (IM-SLNB) guided by modified injection technique. In the choice of chemotherapy, she received dose-dense AC × 4 times followed P × 4 times for chemotherapy. As to irradiation therapy, she received irradiation therapy include chest wall, superclavicular region, and internal mammary nodes.


After performing IM-SLNB, the nodal staging of this patient increased (from N0 to N1b). And she received additional chemotherapy and irradiation therapy.


With the guidance of modified injection technique, the preoperative visualization rate of IMLN has been improved. IM-SLNB could be a minimally invasive technique for effective evaluation of the status of IMLN to provide information for staging and guide the adjuvant treatment.

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